The British Institute of Golf Course Architects has announced the formation of a degree course in golf course architecture at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The course will be held in conjunction with the university, its specialist college, Edinburgh College of Art, Merrist Wood College in Surrey and Elmwood College in Fife.
The course will take the form of a nine month diploma in golf course architecture which will lead to a three month Master’s programme. It will be a full time residential course and will parallel, in its first stage, the present part time and distance learning diploma operated by the Institute at Merrist Wood.
The two year diploma course will be expanded to take in a two-centre field study programme, which will be conducted not only in Surrey, where the Institute is based, but also in Fife so that diploma students can experience at first hand and in practical terms the historic links courses if that part of Great Britain.
Ken Moodie, who is the BIGCA Educational co-ordinator, adds, “ It is a tremendous initiative for the three educational establishments to have come together with the Institute to establish this new degree programme and develop the existing diploma course in a complementary manner. At present there is significant demand for education in golf course architecture. In February 2000 there will be 31 students at Merrist Wood from 14 different countries. The Institute has established a truly international course which is the only one of its kind in the world and we are justly proud of this achievement.”
BIGCA has received already enquiries from three universities (one in Poland, one in Switzerland and one in China) for educational services in golf course architecture to be exported. It is anticipated that a partnership agreement will be made between BIGCA, Heriot-Watt University, Merrist Wood and Elmwood College to be able to effect this successfully, bringing in individual skills for golf management as well as golf course modules.